I was really interested doing this interview as I like the very political lyrics of Trial a lot. Unfortunately time
was kinda short as they were the next band to play in Schweinfurt but those guys took their time and answered every
question with a long statement. So check it out...
first like to introduce yourself to our readers?
I´m Josh, I´m Nick, Brian, I´m Greg, I sing and Tim, who´s not here plays guitar.
How came the idea using those introductional words in the booklet, by Goethe, Nitzsche or whoever?
The idea came from the fact, that we wanted something different from what we´ve done in the past which was to have song lyrics along with an explanation of the songs. In the past I think that gave the reader an easy way out in terms of being able to understand what the songs were about. This time we wanted to make it a little more choundering and open up the songs a bit more to individual interpretation and we felt that the best way to do that was to include a pertinent quote which the reader can interprete however he or she solves it in relation with the song lyrics. It just makes interpretation a lot more in depth from an individual basis rather than having us apply interpretation on a widespread scale to everybody. It´s more interesting.
The song „war by other means“: what was about this John Trudell? Or who was this guy and what happened to him?
Trudell was an activist in the american indian movement in the United States and his family burned alive in a trailorhome in the reservation under very mysterious circumstances. Right around that time Trudell himself was involved with some antigovernment protests, I guess you could say that in brief, and the reason to include him in the song was because he´s not very wellknown but he is very outspoken for indeginious rights in the United States and up to this day, even after the loss of his family, and his dedication and commitment to the causes that he believes in and the causes that he lives and supports is very inspiring and I thought that it would be fantastic to have somebody in the song who is not wellknown so that people could research and find out who he is and what he´s about and see him as an example of somebody who has endurance above and beyond the standard idea of endurance, you know, somebody who really could stand the test of time in light of any personal heartship nor to follow through with their beliefs.
Being a very political band what´s your view on american politics, be it inner politics or also foreign politics?
Well, I mean, it´s pretty obvious that in todays day and age; we live in a world that travel anywhere around the world is possible within a 12 hour time or where the internet has created a situation where people worldwide can reach each other within a millisecond and it shouldn´t be any wonder that the world has globalized in terms of its economy to a certain degree and it´s a social element to a certain degree, where people get to know about each other more and people get to
trade with one another more But the US has taken this to an extreme, the furthest possible extreme in attempt to dominate the entire world and be the foreswitch infact polices and controls, commas around the world and political situations around the world and I think that both, internally and externally, both within the US and around the world that the US attempt to maintain control of any possible political situation has resulted in a situation that I'm pretty embarassed about to have to call myself an American given the circumstances that have resulted over the last 100 years and so the US involvement going as far back as the involvement in Haiti, early in the century; under earlier presidents up till US inventions all around the world and in the later half of the century and supression of political dissidence within the US. I mean that only touches on really one element of the problem but that´s only one aspect of the problem. But that´s just the first thing that comes to mind.
What were the most important recent topics that touched you as a band and personally and stuff like that : like politics or for your lyrics inspiration and also things like music?
Politically certainly the situation on the world trade organization, it´s been on my mind. Musically I don´t know. Actually a lot more like old stuff: Crustpunk and Powerviolence Stuff so I guess secologicly, kind of nurgering and influencing to me in other ways.
I think the world trade organitation is a really valid example something that we talked on the stage recently and it´s a good example of what I was talking about just a few minutes ago in terms of the US dominating world???. The world
trade organization, by the time, the zine comes out meaning in Seattle at the end of November and it´s gonna be met with widespread protests of people who are against the idea of globalization and who have decided to bend together regardless of standard political affiliations in order to battle globalization because it´s getting out of control, entirely out of control this point. And I think that really has an impact in the way that hardcore bands approach commas as well. You know I feel almost guilty to a certain degree coming over here and selling merchandise sometimes at prices that are higher than what people can afford beacuse we have to in order cover costs and the reason I bring that up is because it almost mirrors in a sense the widespread commercialisation of american products overseas that is rampant over here. You see american products everywhere for sale. And we come over and sell another american product even it´s a DIY product. Almost seems to be a part of the problem to a certain degree. So I have been thinking a lot about commerce like Brian said the world trade organization and selling and what not. And I think that at least recenty this situation last spring in Cosovo was really intense. And quite on my mind coming over to Europe an the reason was for the first time the US in a military operation really wasn´t able to control the flow of information as they had in the past. In 1991 doing the gulfwar CNN which is the major news network on the US, was essentially a tool of the military and showed exactly what was supposed to be shown at the exact right time in order to sway public opinion and spread propaganda for the workers. But I think that what the US military didn´t expect and the US government didn´t expect was that the internet would explode the way it has in the middle of the 90s and what that resulted in when the Cosovo crisis started was the ability for people in Yugoslavia to communicate with the rest of the world and tell the rest of the world what exactly was going on above and beyond what CNN was reporting minute to minute 24 hours a day. And there were some hardcore kids in Belgrad who communicated with some people in Seattle and actually we were able to give updates twice a day from Belgrad about what was going on there. And it really gave, I guess I should digress a second, and say these term human interest story which means anytime there´s a new story if you actually see a person, an actual human being and learn about them specifically and how the news impacted them then it is called a human interest story. It´s supposed to make you feel warm and fuzzy and sway your emotions as well as your toughts with the rest of the story. What these kids in Belgrad were able to do was to create a real human interest story above the crisis in Cosovo and created a situation were the news wasn´t just the news it was actual fact coming out of Cosovo. So coming over here to Europe and being a bit closer to that and being American and having a stigma touched that of being not imperialist but of the imperialist nation to a certain degree. All of that influences the experience over here for me, I think. That´s what has been on mind recently.
Do you play shows in Yugoslavia?
Yeah, we wanted to play in Belgrad but we were not allowed to because the car rental company won´t allow us to go into former Yugoslavia or at the close we gonna play Slovenia and Croatia. It would have been good to play to Bosnia, we actually had an offer to play Bosnia from those kids pacifically but we would have to enter the country illegally and it would be to far to drive from the closest shows we´re playing. But it would be possible to do.
What was the idea for using a sample from Adolf Hitler in your last CD? How did this came?
For the song legacy. There are actually two speeches: The first is Rudolf Heß and the second Adolf Hitler. When I was in India a couple of years ago and while I was in India I met a number of Tibetans who had escaped from what was Tibet but is now occupied Chinese territory. And the stories the told of Chinese oppression of the Tibetan people was nothing short of astounding and when I went back to the states I realized that we live in the pacific northwest near Seattle and one of the biggest employers up there is the Boeing Corp. who are a huge lobying force in Wasington DC and when the president of the US grants what´s called most favourite nation trading status to countries round the world which give some lower tarifs for trading worldwide. It´s something that isn´t just to be set automatically it comes up for review. And Boeing makes sure to lobby the US government to grant most favourite nation trading status to China every year regardless of their human rights violations because Boeing knows that what´s at stake is billions of dollars worth of orders that could go to airbus industries here in Europe. So Boeing disregards human rights and ultimately then the US disregard human rights in exchange for commerce. So I thought about that situation and knowing the history of the holocaust I thought about the way in which people in Germany around that time of Adolf Hitler were swept up into nationalism because of the difficulties of the economy here was having at the time and they were swept up into the propaganda which was offered by the nationalsocialist party here and along with that nationalism came the destruction of millions of people. That isn´t an isolated incident. And the German people themselves should not be damned historically for that when I realized in the 90s the Americans esentially doing the same thing by being swept up in the nationalism of making sure our econopmy is strong and damning the Tibetan people and essentially allowing the slaughter of the Tibetan people indirecty granted, but through the support of the Chinese government. So I wanted to drop parallels between the 1930s and 1940s in Germany and modern day in the US to sort of set the tone that history isn't finite that doesn´t end at a certain point, it continues through time and that we must collectively decide to identify what happened and what is happening and make a change so that in the future these things don´t continue to happen. And I thought that the most challenging way to do that would be to use Adolf Hitler and Rudolf Hess´ voice because they are so jarring, I guess you could say so, you hear the voice and it´s very chilling and I know that back home friends of us who are jewish were shocked when they first heard it: What is it? Why are you using this? If you read the lyrics then it becomes obvious that Hitler and Rudolf Hess are chocks supposed by the lyrics. The lyrics don´t support Hitler and Hess´ political position but rather are against it. My only concern will be people in areas that don´t speak english who hear Hitler and Hess and possibly think that there are fascist elements involved in this song. But anyone who can read the lyrics will learn immediatly that what the song is about is against the ideas these man were perpetrating over the world.
What´s up with the future of Trial as a band?
Touring and someday recording. When we have finished these tour and then go home and then, well we haven´t talked about what tours we wanna do, but we would like to come over to Europe again and doing the US as well, we were talking about doing the US with Buried Alive, who are gonna be here in spring. So, yes, touring and eventually maybe ... and well I don´t know.
Wow. Trial are a blast. Talking to those guys was very informative and interesting. I wish we'd have had more time as those guys really have something to say. Check them out, also their homepage at www.plusminusrecords.com/trial which is very informative.
A very special thanks again to x Tom x for typing the interview for me...